Sunday, 29 March 2009

Album Review - Bonny 'Prince' Billy - Beware - Noize Makes Enemies


Don’t let the adjective fool you, Bonnie Prince Billy really isn’t very bonnie, but he is pretty bloody good. Infusing folk, country and rock, Will Oldham, the mastermind behind the outfit, brings his established fan base a fourth album.

The album mirrors an array of emotions that don’t always translate into vocabulary as easily for the rest of us as they seem to for Oldham, something that is no doubt a result of an innate talent and years of musical experience.

Traditional country tracks such as “Beware Your Only Friend” emulate provocative lyrics like /Watch out for these empty thoughts/ that’s where the seeds of soul sucking grows/ in a way that interrupts and penetrates the listener’s deepest thoughts.

Similarly, tracks like “There is Something I Have to Say” have a more unique blues style and in turn make Bonnie Prince Billy’s heart felt lyrical pleas pluck at the heart strings of anyone who has ever had their heart broken. This combination makes a rather niche genre accessible and refreshingly enjoyable for a more extensive audience.

Though, throughout the course of the thirteen tracks, the average non-country music fan may start to find the tales of loss and depravation a tad draining, Oldham’s musical ability is far from disputable.

Admittedly, Bonnie Prince Billy’s new album will not be the next must-have for fans of mainsteam Ting Tings and whatever else is deemed ‘alternative’ this month, but a refreshing step back from computer-manipulated music and encouraging the broadening of musical tastes is far from a bad thing and something that Oldham effortlessly advocates.

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